Army Numbers Fall Again

@John G i look at this from a

I think the measure known as “Applications” is made at an import stage in the process; it measures the success of otherwise the Awareness stage of the recruiting campaign. No more. I think it’s deliberately misleading in calling it Applications for two reasons. Firstly, calling an unqualified lead an Apllication is misleading for the reasons you state. But also by banding around a big headline number without any context, it’s pretty meaningless. Those leads arise from a a campaign or a seri s if campaigns. What were the objectives in terms of time, cost and quality? Were they met?

It’s a classic example of lack of accountability. Not a lot different from the routine “we’re making progress” reports the MoD came up with from Herrick.

For me, the recruiting game is one in which it is quite easy to set clear objectives and measure them. Whether it happens inside the organisation I don’t know. But the fact that the senior leadership spouts a meaningless number under a misleading title suggests a lack of accountability.
It’s lucky that applications (other than being up by the same metric that has been used throughout RPP) have nothing to do with performance targets or KPIs.

That is all about LtT figures, which are spectacularly bad by the way, so reporting, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 or 100000 applications doesnt change the price of fish to capita, other than, the more applications, the more that are eligible for rejection by the standards set by the MOD. And they are up just to be clear ^~

But of course, everyone commenting knew that already :)

Oh and PS, The 300 day pipeline is pretty much the same as it was in 2009 when the army had full control of the pipeline, but why let the truth... and all that :)
 
Suggests?

You are way too forgiving.

These are people who have risen to seniority by dint of skirting their essential responsibilities, and hedging omission behind flimflam like this.

I'd go so far as to say they are probably entirely unaware of being wholly deceitful.

Yet there's no mechanism - no OFSTED, no GMC, no watchdog of any stripe - to critique their performance.

It's a surefire recipe for institutional decline.

Don’t need an OFSTED need a Minister and a Parliament.


And Arrse probably.
 
Don’t need an OFSTED need a Minister and a Parliament.


And Arrse probably.
Ahem.

We've had both of those as long as I've been alive, and longer.

Obsessed by cost, ignorant of the realities and limitations of military action, their members are incapable of effective oversight of the Army.

So, you wind up with Generals guaranteeing results they're in no position to secure, to people who are in no position to challenge the General's assertions, and - in any case - don't care, as long as it's cheap, 'cuz there ain't no votes in Defence.
 
It’s lucky that applications (other than being up by the same metric that has been used throughout RPP) have nothing to do with performance targets or KPIs,
I get that entirely; it’s pretty obvious that no contract the size of RPP would be run on a single metric.

But when that single metric gets used by VSOs and the Centre as a headline indicator them it does become relevant.

Here’s my measure of success. Calculate the cost per recruit starting basic. According to an article I read recently, Capita have been paid >760M over the course of the contract. The MoDs own costs we can only guess at but let’s call it another 100M to be kind. It’s probably more. So over the 10 year RPP the fully burdened costs will be north of 1Bn.

And how many will have been recruited? Less than 100k. So that’s 10k a recruit or 8 months wages. That’s pretty shocking to me.
 
Ahem.

We've had both of those as long as I've been alive, and longer.

Obsessed by cost, ignorant of the realities and limitations of military action, their members are incapable of effective oversight of the Army.

So, you wind up with Generals guaranteeing results they're in no position to secure, to people who are in no position to challenge the General's assertions, and - in any case - don't care, as long as it's cheap, 'cuz there ain't no votes in Defence.

Sorry.

I meant we need a competent and dutiful Minister and a Parliament with the long term interests of the nation at heart.


Left out the modifiers.





While I’m at it, can we have golden unicorns and a talking kitten please?
 
I get that entirely; it’s pretty obvious that no contract the size of RPP would be run on a single metric.

But when that single metric gets used by VSOs and the Centre as a headline indicator them it does become relevant.

Here’s my measure of success. Calculate the cost per recruit starting basic. According to an article I read recently, Capita have been paid >760M over the course of the contract. The MoDs own costs we can only guess at but let’s call it another 100M to be kind. It’s probably more. So over the 10 year RPP the fully burdened costs will be north of 1Bn.

And how many will have been recruited? Less than 100k. So that’s 10k a recruit or 8 months wages. That’s pretty shocking to me.
And me, I don't think at any point I have said that RPP has/is being successful. The Key metric is LtT and it is consistently well below target.

I also don't believe applications are a measure of success and other than marketeers I don't believe any senior officer is heralding them as such (I haven't checked so could be wrong).

But what I have consistently said is that those applications are up and they are and it is an undeniable fact.
 
It’s lucky that applications (other than being up by the same metric that has been used throughout RPP) have nothing to do with performance targets or KPIs.

That is all about LtT figures, which are spectacularly bad by the way, so reporting, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 or 100000 applications doesnt change the price of fish to capita, other than, the more applications, the more that are eligible for rejection by the standards set by the MOD. And they are up just to be clear ^~

But of course, everyone commenting knew that already :)

Oh and PS, The 300 day pipeline is pretty much the same as it was in 2009 when the army had full control of the pipeline, but why let the truth... and all that :)
Pretty sure the time taken, in 76, from walking into a Recruiting Office and starting at Sutton Coldfield, was no longer than 12 weeks and maybe less. And this in a completely paper-based, no mobile comms era. It ain't rocket science - poor Army decisions have just made it so.
 
Pretty sure the time taken, in 76, from walking into a Recruiting Office and starting at Sutton Coldfield, was no longer than 12 weeks and maybe less. And this in a completely paper-based, no mobile comms era. It ain't rocket science - poor Army decisions have just made it so.
Absoloutly, but it’s easier to pretend that it’s all down to Capita and everything was rosey before they took over :)
 
And me, I don't think at any point I have said that RPP has/is being successful. The Key metric is LtT and it is consistently well below target.

I also don't believe applications are a measure of success and other than marketeers I don't believe any senior officer is heralding them as such (I haven't checked so could be wrong).

But what I have consistently said is that those applications are up and they are and it is an undeniable fact.
I’d me surprised if a genuine marketeer would use a meaningless metric; my experience of digital marketeers is that they are very hot on numbers and accountability. Not that Capita are marketeers....

Which IMHO is why the RPP hasn’t worked. Wrong contractor, wrong contract, wrong requirement, no understanding of partnering etc etc

I think the MoD had to contract a large slice of its recruiting. The old system of shopfront recruiting offices in the run down bits of run down towns was no longer fit for purpose and that was ten years ago. Recruiting had to move into the digital space and there’s no way it could be done in house. It had to be outsourced, but not to a perennial under-bidder like Capita.

Having been through the ADF process I’ve seen how a slick outsourced system can work. The ADF can get a bog standard recruit through in three months....very similar medical and background checks. It can also take a year when the recruit needs additional checks, medicals etc etc it when they are going for a role with few vacancies.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Pretty sure the time taken, in 76, from walking into a Recruiting Office and starting at Sutton Coldfield, was no longer than 12 weeks and maybe less. And this in a completely paper-based, no mobile comms era. It ain't rocket science - poor Army decisions have just made it so.
Heh. While it wasn't "real Army", East Midlands OTC managed to go from "interesting stand, might as well talk to them" to "attested recruit in comically-shaped beret live-firing on the range" in a fortnight in 1989.

Which was fortunate for the Free World: since after forty years of Cold War, once the STAVKA got word that O/Cdt Jrwlynch was now signed up and learning to use That Rifle, they threw in the towel practically overnight. I sign up in October 1989, by November they're tearing down the Berlin Wall... coincidence? I think not!
 
Suggests?
You are way too forgiving. ...
I'd go so far as to say they are probably entirely unaware of being wholly deceitful.
@Stonker, I'd suggest that it's you that's being "way too forgiving" and that they and all those involved with this con know exactly what they're doing, from top to bottom.

Who gains from perpetuating and enhancing this myth that the Army's becoming a more attractive employer, evidenced by more "applications"?

Capita? No, it makes no difference to them at all, financially or by repute - if anything it makes it look as if they're responsible for failing to turn "applications" into recruits.

The Army? No,they're not getting recruits and looking as incompetent as Capita.

VSOs? A big 'Yes' - the likes of Carter and Everard get to look as if they're responsible for dragging the Army int the 21st century, lining up sure-fire well-paying directorships and consultancies as they go. Any idea that VSOs were motivated by loyalty to those they commanded and a desire to improve the military rather than their pay-packet and pension disappeared when I read Mike Jackson's autobiography and he made it unavoidably clear that his sole motivation for remaining as a possibly 'past-over' Maj or Lt Gen wasn't the Army and the soldiers but his pay and pension.

Those officers amd SNCOs directly involved in the recruiting programme? Another equally big 'Yes". Unlike the VSOs, generally the second XI who've been overlooked for command and got where they are by either doing nothing wrong by doing nothing at all or nodding 'yes' to everything and anything they're told, in the interests of their own career and pension.

No big 'conspiracy, just the self-serving and self-interested looking after their own interests.
 
I think the measure known as “Applications” is made at an import stage in the process; it measures the success of otherwise the Awareness stage of the recruiting campaign.
NO IT DOESN'T!

That's what it's SUPPOSED to measure and what it's CLAIMED to measure, but @CAARPS link (the Forces monthly and quarterly Stats) make it unavoidably clear that they're not just measuring "the success of otherwise the Awareness stage of the recruiting campaign" but they're also reflecting the recently increased demands of the Government's Jobseeker Allowance aand including applications for the 200 residency exempt Commonwealth vacancies - with the latter, according to @CAARPS' figures, making up a staggering 20,000 / 30% of these "applications" even though they have no chance at all of being accepted.

Here's what the link says, again, in explanation for the increase:
There has been a large increase in the number of applications to join the Army Regular Forces in the last
three quarters. The increase is, in part, due to a rise in Commonwealth applicants as a result of the
announcement that residency requirements would be waived to allow 200 Commonwealth citizens per
annum to be recruited to fill a limited number of roles in the Regular Armed Forces which require
specialist skills. In addition to this, the introduction of the Army Quick application process (‘Quick App’) in
November 2016 may have resulted in increases in applications following this period. Since the same
period last year, there has been an overall increase of 27,990 applications to join the Regular Army.
.....

The main causes of application failure (i.e. the applicant declines an offer to join):
  • Applicants may have submitted other applications for employment (including multiple applications to join the Armed Forces) and accept another offer;
  • Applications may be submitted with no intention to join (e.g. to satisfy the requirements of job seeking).
Take away the 20,000 applications for the 200 residency exempt Commonwealth places, and a reasonable number for the increased JobSeeker requirement and that "overall increase of 27,990 applications to join the Regular Army" since the same period last year looks rather less impressive.

The maths aren't that difficult.
 
But what I have consistently said is that those applications are up and they are and it is an undeniable fact.
That is all about LtT figures, which are spectacularly bad by the way, so reporting, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 or 100000 applications doesnt change the price of fish to capita, other than, the more applications, the more that are eligible for rejection by the standards set by the MOD. And they are up just to be clear
Right facts ... wrong conclusion.

However reasonable it may seem to be, "more applications", measured at the point they currently are, does NOT necessarily mean "the more that are eligible for rejection by the standards set by the MOD". That's completely overlooking that some 20,000 of those "applications" (your figure) are for 200 residency exempt Commonwealth specialist posts so already in the bin and not applications for routine Regular Army recruit places, and that a considerable number have no intention of joining the Army, regardless of whether they meet MoD standards and are rejected or not, but are simply meeting the increased JobSeeker requirement, or multiple "applications".

In case you missed it the last couple of times, this is from YOUR link:

There has been a large increase in the number of applications to join the Army Regular Forces in the last
three quarters. The increase is, in part, due to a rise in Commonwealth applicants as a result of the
announcement that residency requirements would be waived to allow 200 Commonwealth citizens per
annum to be recruited to fill a limited number of roles in the Regular Armed Forces which require
specialist skills. In addition to this, the introduction of the Army Quick application process (‘Quick App’) in
November 2016 may have resulted in increases in applications following this period. Since the same
period last year, there has been an overall increase of 27,990 applications to join the Regular Army.
.....
The main causes of application failure (i.e. the applicant declines an offer to join):

  • Applicants may have submitted other applications for employment (including multiple applications to join the Armed Forces) and accept another offer;
  • Applications may be submitted with no intention to join (e.g. to satisfy the requirements of job seeking).
 
The old system of shopfront recruiting offices in the run down bits of run down towns was no longer fit for purpose and that was ten years ago.
Why Not?

It had worked very successfully for decades, as evidenced by many here, and is what many potential recruits seem to be complaining about not having - a face and individual to talk to and get an answer from rather than a recorded message, a different person answering every call, or the current nothing at all.

Yes, it was outdated and needed digital technology to be put alongside it, but WHY did it need replacing?

(and they were far from just "in the run down bits of run down downs" - I went to the one in the Strand.)
Pretty sure the time taken, in 76, from walking into a Recruiting Office and starting at Sutton Coldfield, was no longer than 12 weeks and maybe less. And this in a completely paper-based, no mobile comms era. It ain't rocket science - poor Army decisions have just made it so.
Typical in the 70's, 80's and 90's ... and until the Army tried to get too clever for it's own good and to mend a system that wasn't broken.
Heh. While it wasn't "real Army", East Midlands OTC managed to go from "interesting stand, might as well talk to them" to "attested recruit in comically-shaped beret live-firing on the range" in a fortnight in 1989.
But, to be fair, if you'd tried to join a month later you'd have had to wait nearly a year as it was a once-a-year intake.

.
 
Why Not?

It had worked very successfully for decades, .
Same reasons as why high street retail has largely gone. Lack of footfall because people shop in malls or out of town. Offices surrounded by charity shops in run down bits of towns.

Lack of coverage; offices in formerly rich recruiting patches which no longer worked because of demographic changes or because the local regiment has gone. Yet no offices in swathes of the country. Security issues.

Sunk costs in infrastructure and staff that only produced outlut when people walked through the door; a very passive system.

Add in the move to online recruiting (way over 50% of jobs are applied for online), the need to engage etc etc digitally they had to go.

There were AFCOs that produced single digit numbers of recruits a year......
 
Same reasons as why high street retail has largely gone. Lack of footfall because people shop in malls or out of town. Offices surrounded by charity shops in run down bits of towns.

Lack of coverage; offices in formerly rich recruiting patches which no longer worked because of demographic changes or because the local regiment has gone. Yet no offices in swathes of the country. Security issues.

Sunk costs in infrastructure and staff that only produced outlut when people walked through the door; a very passive system.

Add in the move to online recruiting (way over 50% of jobs are applied for online), the need to engage etc etc digitally they had to go.

There were AFCOs that produced single digit numbers of recruits a year......
You could probably add to that litany, the clinging on to a Georgian recruiting model that placed on the shoulders of unit COs the responsibility for recruiting activity in counties and towns.

All very well, perhaps, when you've multiple Bns of a Regiment. The fewer there are, and the busier, the more difficult it is to resource that effort.
 
NO IT DOESN'T!

That's what it's SUPPOSED to measure and what it's CLAIMED to measure, but @CAARPS link (the Forces monthly and quarterly Stats) make it unavoidably clear that they're not just measuring "the success of otherwise the Awareness stage of the recruiting campaign"
As I’ve said many times, it’s a headline number measuring the number of UNQUALIFIED leads at the mouth of the funnel. In marketing terms that measures the effectiveness of the totality of activity at the awareness stage of the process. The sources of those leads could (and presumably is?) be analysed by looking looking at hits after a major advert expenditure, abandoned applications, retargetting data etc etc. The analysis can be very granular.

The link that CAARPS posted starts to QUALIFY the leads. It sorts out the obvious dud leads and leaves those that have to be prosecuted as viable leads.

Whether or not the stats are impressive or not isn’t the point. It’s how the data is used and how the numbers are banded about.

In some ways, the numbers that CAARPS led is to are impressive; if we focus on just the viable leads, it’s turning about 20% of viable leads into recruits.
 
Same reasons as why high street retail has largely gone. Lack of footfall because people shop in malls or out of town. Offices surrounded by charity shops in run down bits of towns.

Lack of coverage; offices in formerly rich recruiting patches which no longer worked because of demographic changes or because the local regiment has gone. Yet no offices in swathes of the country. Security issues.

Sunk costs in infrastructure and staff that only produced outlut when people walked through the door; a very passive system.

Add in the move to online recruiting (way over 50% of jobs are applied for online), the need to engage etc etc digitally they had to go.

There were AFCOs that produced single digit numbers of recruits a year......
So because some were in the wrong place all were binned, rather than move those to the 'right' place, where the 'footfall' was?

... so because of the clear need to engage digitally, the need to also engage personally was ignored rather than complemented?

... so the one point constantly and consistently made by those interested in and attempting to join, namely that they want to be able to talk to the same person, in person, is ignored?

... so despite (your guesstimate) spending 100 million a year on recruiting / 10k per recruit it's not worth spending a fraction of that on any re-located offices?

... maybe the Army shouldn't have listened to the 'experts' and consultants and what they think but should have paid and be paying a bit more attention to its target audience and what they want.
 

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